12.01.09

Christmas In The Nursing Home

Posted in Nursing home at 11:57 pm by admin

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A Nursing Home is already a lonely place, so imagine how much more
lonely it can be around the holiday season? For seniors who have no
family close by, it can be the most depressing time of year. But there
are things you can do to help.

1) Go for a visit. This is obvious, and certainly not everyone will be
able to do this. But remember that above all, your loved one wants to
be with family and friends. Do not underestimate the power of your own
presence in his or her life. You might not think you are very special,
but Grandma sure does!

2) Send notes! Do not just send a regular Christmas card and leave it
there. Everybody sends those. Show her how special she is by hand-
writing cards for her. That is Cards–plural! If you send multiple
letters, it will give her a better feel that you have not forgotten
her. Tell her the details of your life. Even mundane things will
probably be of great interest. Tell about the kids, about how they are
preparing for Christmas. Have them hand-write a message, or draw a
picture especially for her.
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3) Give a meaningful gift. In Texas nursing homes, gifts can be especially
tricky. Residents have limited space. Their laundry is done in masse,
so things easily get lost. And they do not have a whole lot of
privacy. So what can you give? How about something especially
meaningful and personalized like a Potobook or personalized picture
calendar? If you take lots of pictures of the kids, and if you have
some good ones, you can easily order a surprisingly nice personalized
gift through most online services. Photobucket, Shutterfly, and
Snapfish are three of the most common. I prefer Apple’s iPhoto. Each
of these services will easily guide you through a step-by-step process
of plugging your picture into an attractive template and ordering the
product. This is an inexpensive option as well. You can probably order
a calendar for under $20.00. My wife and I ordered calendars featuring
our children for both of our parents years ago, and they loved it. And
they weren’t even in an nursing home, so imagine how much more someone
isolated would enjoy it!

4) Call! Make sure you carve out a good time to talk with your loved
one. It might seem boring for your family, but the sound of your
voices can mean the world to someone who has not seen them in ages.

In short, make your loved one a part of the holiday festivities as
best as you can. Keep them well informed through phone calls, notes
and gifts. That personal touch will do more to warm their hearts than
any old present could!